When a stranger approaches you, how would you react? With doubt or with trust? It was the new year’s day, 2006, about twenty minutes past . I was at my cousins place when we decided celebrate with a visit to café coffee day.
I then narrated this incident which happened to me in
On the way, I asked him about some nearby tourist destinations (which I, sadly, couldn’t visit). It was clear in an instant that the driver just loved speaking. I did not know Tamil, so my friend had to translate the parts that I couldn’t understand. On the way we stopped at a petrol bunk, where I paid 100 rupees for the diesel. He told us about a waterfall and a dam near the university on Kerala – Tamil Nadu border which was five kilometers away.
The two trains came and went. After this, we completed the formality of signing registers etc. to stay for couple of days in the university. The taxi bill came to Rs 250 which I promptly paid. It came to me as a surprise when the driver returned Rs 100 back reminding me of the payment in the petrol bunk. All I could think was why are people so presumptuous when comes to judging the taxi (or auto) drivers on their honesty. By nature, I trust people; this gesture gave me all the more reasons to do so.
Unimpressed by the incident, my cousin continued to defend his side while I did the same on my side.
Yesterday, I was going through some of the short stories of Ruskin Bond which are set on rural
It was the beginning of my 11th standard, fresh out of 10th standard board examination, and also fresh into preparation for IIT-JEE. A ninety minute eventless ‘journey’ was part of my daily routine to travel from my coaching institute in
There was this small stretch of about 2 km, which I usually had to travel by ‘local’ auto for just three bucks. It was about ten in the evening and I was running a little late. Mechanically, I got down from the bus and headed to the ‘local’ auto stand. In a bid to save the precious one buck, I was inquiring the auto driver about the fare.
Just then, I heard a voice coming from inside the auto, “forget about three rupees or four rupees, come inside, I will pay.” Confounded, I said, “huh?”
“get into the auto…”, he sounded very friendly
Before I could complete, he said, “I told you I will pay.”
Seeing no danger, with couple of more people in the auto, and a busy street, I got in. The twenty something man sounded very excited and in high sprits. On the way I learnt that he was doing research on Tuberculosis in a research lab nearby. I have absolutely no idea what makes anyone so upbeat. He was more cheerful than I can ever be. He asked me my name, still confused, I replied, “Shankar”. “Ok Shankar, I’m _____(I don’t remember). So, what are you doing here?” I gave a brief intro. His excitement overpowered the noisy auto probably running on kerosene. I told him my stop will arrive in couple of minutes and have to get off. He said, “Ah…its ok just gimme your phone no. I will call you sometime.” He hurriedly took out a dairy and wrote my number down. He looked like a professional.
Then, the auto stopped at the petrol bunk where I was supposed to get off. I was paying three bucks as the stranger ‘more than just’ insisted the he will pay the driver. I couldn’t utter a word clearly. The auto driver asked me (in Kannada), “aur kodtara?” (Is he paying). I said, “yaako gothilla” (I don’t know why). He shouted from inside, “get home safely, I will take care.” Others in the auto were smiling, I will never know if they were smiling at me or at him. I said, “Fine” and crossed the street towards my uncle’s place. Blissful that I saved three bucks, began wondering who that person was……and I am still wondering…